Sedation Dentistry for Children
Your dentist may recommend sedation for patients who are young or anxious. The goal is to provide quality dental treatment for children who might be too fearful or uncooperative. Sedating a patient is normally a very safe procedure, and parents can help reduce the risks and stress level for their child before, during and after treatment.
Depending on the personality of the child, oral sedative medications and nitrous oxide can be used successfully and safely during dental procedures. Children tolerate sedation and other dental procedures best if the parents understand what is happening and help prepare the child. Parents can help their children stay relaxed by being calm and encouraging. Try bringing along a comfort item for the child to hold, such as a favorite toy or stuffed animal. Holding the child's hand and talking or singing are other good comfort tactics. Parents should also avoid bringing other children to the appointment so that they can focus their full attention on the child receiving care.
In order to prepare your child for sedation dentistry, it's important to follow these guidelines:
- Make sure your child doesn’t eat solid food for at least six hours prior to their appointment and only drinks clear liquids for up to four hours beforehand.
- The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
- After the procedure, monitor your child closely. Because their mouth is still numb from local anesthetic after their treatment, children tend to chew on their lips, cheeks, and tongue, or scratch their face. Observe your child carefully so they don’t cause injury to these areas.
- Your child can sleep afterward, but lay them on their side with their chin up and wake them every hour. Encourage them to drink fluids to avoid dehydration. When eating after the procedure, their first meal should be easily digestible.
Southern Indiana Smiles offers oral sedation to help ease your child’s anxiety and fears. Your dentist will prescribe medication that is best suited to your child’s health and dental treatment needs.